where the writers are
Finding Fellow Writers

I've been spending my afternoons after school in the library with about eight teenagers, who are furiously typing away at their novels for NaNoWriMo's Young Writer's Program 2008. Word has gotten around the school building that we are doing this. We've got a two page spread in the upcoming year book. The assistant principle has scheduled meetings in the library around our schedule. That made the kids feel pretty powerful.

But noveling like this brings the secret writers out of the closet as well, and it's been fun to see. Random people have come to me and handed me manuscripts, or parts of them and have asked me if they are any good, because suddenly, because I am publicly writing a novel, I am an expert on these matters. People have asked me for reassurance that noveling is an acceptable past time for an adult. I've been argued with over the virtues of writing a novel in thirty days. It isn't real writing, I've been told. 

My students have learned more about writing in 15 days than they have learned in 15 years. And they LIKE it. I'm going to finish a novel in a month where others haven't gotten past their second chapter in six years. I've put my action behind my mouth when I've said, "I'm a writer, yeah." 

Don't just say anything, WRITE anything.